Learn about unusual diseases that you didn’t know existed
The world of medicine encompasses many types of illnesses, including some that sound made up. Four diseases you never believed were real include: rabbit fever, cat scratch fever, beaver fever and alien hand syndrome. Read on to learn more about these very real illnesses and their symptoms.
- Rabbit fever.
Also known as tularemia, this illness spreads through rabbits and other small rodents infected with Francisella tularensis bacteria. Humans can contract this disease through exposure to infected rabbits, from eating infected meat or via a flea or tick bite. Symptoms usually begin to appear within three to five days and can vary depending on the exact strain of bacteria. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- A red bump or ulcer at the infection site.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
- Chest pain.
- Difficulty breathing.
Rabbit fever is usually treatable, especially when caught in the early stages of infection. Your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics, which should quickly reduce the severity of symptoms. Most people become immune to future infections of tularemia.
- Cat scratch fever.
The Bartonella henselae bacteria cause cat scratch fever, also known as cat-scratch disease (CSD). These bacteria spread through the saliva of an infected cat, and humans often contract the disease through a bite. This disease is quite common, with an estimated 40 percent of cats becoming infected at some point in their lifetime. When transmitted to a human, cat-scratch disease can produce symptoms such as:
- A red, swollen bump at the infection site.
- Loss of appetite.
- Sore throat.
In many cases the infection isn’t severe and clears up on its own; however, some individuals may require antibiotics.
- Beaver fever.
Giardia lamblia is a parasite that causes giardiasis, an infection also known as beaver fever. This parasite is common in many animals, including beavers, which is how the disease got its name. You can contract the disease by consuming food or water that contains infected feces. When infection occurs, symptoms will usually appear within one to three weeks and can include:
- Blood in the stool.
- Abdominal pain or cramping.
- Weight loss.
A physician can diagnose giardiasis through a routine stool sample test at your urgent care clinic, and it’s usually treatable with a course of antibiotics.
- Alien hand syndrome.
This strangely named disorder occurs when there is a problem with neurological impulses in the brain. People who have suffered a stroke, severe infection, trauma to the head, aneurysm or brain surgery are most at risk. The predominant symptom with this condition is the loss of control of one of the limbs, usually the arm or hand. The limb will seem to move on its own. Often the unaffected arm will have to restrain the other to keep it from moving. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disorder; however, patients can keep the condition under control with therapy.
No matter what symptoms may be affecting you or what condition you may have, the team at Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center is fully trained and experienced in providing the best care possible. If you live in the Shreveport area and have medical questions or health concerns that need attention, visit one of our urgent care clinics today.
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